How can I improve my concentration and my memory?Key Points:
- Attention is among the most important components of our mental life, cognitive performance and quality of life.
- Reduce your stress to improve concentration and reduce distractions.
- Focus, take breaks, and elaborate in order to remember.Answer:
Attention is among the most important components of your mental life. By choosing to attend to some thing and focus on it, you create a personal interaction with it, which gives it personal meaning, making it easier to remember. Attention enables brain’s ability to “rewire” itself.
One of the main reasons it gets harder for you to learn and remember new things as you age is that your brain’s processing speed slows down as you get older. It becomes harder to do more than one thing at the same time, so it’s easier to get confused. Your brain may also become less flexible, so it’s harder to change learning strategies in mid-stream. All these things mean it becomes harder to focus, but there are techniques to increase your learning performance, even if your process ing speed has slowed.Focus
Alertness, focus, concentration, motivation, and heightened awareness are to a large extent a matter of attitude. Focus takes effort. In fact, many memory complaints have nothing to do with the actual ability of the brain to remember things
. They come from a failure to focus properly on the task at hand, many times due to emotional and stress-related distractions. If you want to learn or remember something, concentrate on just that one thing. The harder the task, the more important it is to tune out distractions. Make more of an effort not to let yourself get distracted until you’ve finished what you have to do.Separate
When you learn some thing new, take breaks so that the facts won’t interfere with one another as you study them.Elaborate
Your brain remembers things by their meaning. If you spend a little extra effort up front to create meaning, you’ll need less effort later to recall it. Elaboration involves creating a rich context for the experience by adding together visual, auditory, and other information about the fact. By weaving a web of information around that fact, you create multiple access points to that piece of information.
You will find more related information on how to improve concentration and memory by checking out these resources:- Collection of brain teasers and games: attention, memory, problem-solving, visual, and more.
- Brain Training Games and “Games”: a 10-Question Check list on how to evaluate programs that make brain-related claims.
- Neuroscience Interview Series: interviews with over 15 brain scientists and experts.By: Caroline Latham